Knight and Day, the recent Cruise/Dias flick, hasn’t really had a great showing.
Cruise, who earned north of $90 million for the first Mission: Impossible in 1996 from gross participation and producing fees, is receiving a substantially reduced upfront payment relative to his previous outings with the M:I films.
Paramount is also taking on a financial partner in the form of Skydance Prods., the company run by David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
So, why is it a big deal?
It means the studio has lost a little bit of faith in the star power of Tom Cruise, but that’s not all. It’s hard to find an actor these days with actual star power.
And, by star power, I mean, you’ll go see the movie based solely on who’s in it. This used to be the case for actors like John Wayne, Paul Newman, and Liz Taylor. Now, it seems that “star” power is “director” power. Instead of the next “Ian McKellan” flick, you here people dropping names like Scorsese, Nolan, Favreau.
Not only that, but producers have a buzz of their own. I will see the next J.J. Abrams movie because it is the next J.J. Abrams movie.
It’s an interesting shift, but will it really produce work of higher quality? MI:4 will still be the fourth installment of a series and the question remains: “Hasn’t this been done before?”
Who do you go to see?